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Updated every Friday.

Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13th

Upcoming events 

II Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Cooperation Authorities "Strengthening capacity for development cooperation and partnerships: Building resilience to disasters" to take place from September 20-21, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS-SEDI), as technical secretariat for the ministerial process of cooperation in order to facilitate the logistical arrangements for the participation of ministers, high authorities, and special guests informs the Cooperation Authorities, through the Permanent Missions of the OAS Member States, that the second meeting of ministers and high-level cooperation authorities "Strengthening capacity for development cooperation and partnerships: Building resilience to disasters" will take place from September 20th to the 21st, 2018 in Washington D.C. 

What happened this week?

National Hurricane Center watching remnants of Hurricane Beryl 

(National Hurricane Center)A trough of low pressure, associated with the remnants of Hurricane Beryl, was moving north-northeastward over the western Atlantic at about 10 mph., the National Hurricane Center reported. In its 7 p.m. update Thursday (July 12), the Hurricane Center said the disturbance was located about 350 miles west of Bermuda, was producing showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions could support some tropical or subtropical development during the next couple of days, the Hurricane Center said. Later in the weekend, the system will be over colder waters and interacting with an upper-level low, which will limit development, the Hurricane Center said. Tropical formation chances were 20 percent over the next 48 hours and 40 percent over the next five days.... Read more  

Tropical Storm Chris expected to transition to a powerful non-tropical storm

Hurricane Chris tracker: Where is Hurricane Chris now? Hurricane Chris has been downgraded to a tropical storm as of Thursday, July 12th.The storm has moved away from the United States towards Newfoundland, in Canada, according to the National Hurricane Center.  A 5am EDT advisory at the National Hurricane Center said the storm was moving at 35mph towards the northeast. Chris is expected to spread some rain across Iceland, but also some warm weather across the UK and Ireland this weekend. Chris is said to be an unusually strong storm for mid-July, following its stirring of seas and coastal waters.  The second hurricane of the Atlantic season does not usually occur until later in the summer - around August 28, according to the National Hurricane Center. Waves 10 feet or greater may pose hazards to small craft, shipping and cruise interests over the northwestern Atlantic into this weekend. The storm follows Beryl, the first-named hurricane of the season, which could regenerate again north of the Bahamas... Read more  

Bolstering disaster preparedness in the Caribbean 

On July 10 and 11, the United States William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies co-hosted a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Seminar with U.S. Southern Command and the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) at the Hilton Barbados. The event brought together participants from 18 Caribbean and South American countries, as well as British, Canadian, Dutch, and French partners. The seminar provided an opportunity to consolidate lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane season and to prepare Caribbean, partner nations, and U.S. humanitarian assistance forces for the 2018 hurricane season...Read more 

Regional Governments Advised to Include Disaster Management in Budgets

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs of Barbados, Gayle Francis-Vaughan, has called for emergency management and disaster preparedness to be mainstreamed in the budgets of Caribbean countries. She made the appeal yesterday as she addressed a two-day Caribbean Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Seminar at the Hilton Barbados Resort. “Personally, as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for disasters and emergencies, I would like to see emergency management and disaster preparedness mainstreamed in the budgets of our countries,” she said. The Permanent Secretary said issues related to the development of resilience in Barbados and support for the region were high on the government’s agenda. She added that the devastation left behind following last year’s hurricane season was evidence that countries could never be totally prepared, and they could not do it all on their own. “It [last year’s hurricane season] reminds us that the Caribbean region is really a family that comes together immediately if anyone of us is impacted seriously by any sort of disaster but especially disasters brought on by hurricanes. No Caribbean country is alone when preparing for hurricanes and dealing with the aftermath,” she said. Noting that Caribbean countries shared a common apprehension and anxiety during the Atlantic hurricane season, Francis-Vaughan said they did not have to be lobbied during times of crisis, since they rushed to each other’s aid...Read more 

Interesting Facts 

Half of climate action plans neglect people in danger, say researchers  

Governments are failing those most at risk from climate change by not placing them at the heart of efforts to adapt to more extreme weather and rising seas, researchers said in a report on the U.N. development goals, calling it “a critical concern”. The analysis of progress made by 86 countries found that just over half their strategies aimed at building climate resilience overlook groups bearing the brunt of environmental pressures, such as indigenous people and low-caste Indians. The index from the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) assessed whether countries are on track to meet a commitment to “leave no one behind”, a key pillar of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in 2015... Read more  

Improving disaster response through Twitter data 

Improving disaster response through Twitter dataTwitter data could give disaster relief teams real-time information to provide aid and save lives, thanks to a new algorithm developed by an international team of researchersA team of researchers from Penn State, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and the Qatar Computing Research Institute created an algorithm that analyzes Twitter data to identify smaller disaster-related events, known as sub-events, and generate highly accurate, real-time summaries that can be used to guide response activities. The group presented their paper—"Identifying Sub-events and Summarizing Information from Microblogs during Disasters"—today (July 10) at the 41st International Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval in Ann Arbor, Michigan... Read more       

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